Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Ben Oakley
A quick look at the KDP Select program and how to work out books sold by KENP pages read. With KENP standing for Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read.
Though there are other book subscription services out there, Kindle Unlimited is by far the industry leader. More readers have a KU subscription than any other book service.
To have your book be part of KU, you need to enrol in the KDP Select program.
For authors, we measure success in the KDP Select program by the number of KENP pages read.
Let’s quantify this first of all by comparing books to movies. When film companies upload their films to Amazon Prime and include it in the Prime program, they get paid per minute watched.
For books, we get paid by pages read. An audience member might watch ten minutes of a film on Amazon Prime and decide it’s not for them.
On the KU side, a reader may read ten pages of a book and decide it’s not for them.
The filmmaker still gets royalties for those minutes watched, as an author receives royalties for pages read.
Authors are repeatedly asked how many books they’ve sold, and the traditional method was to literally look up the number of books sold for the answer.
In today’s streaming and subscription-model world, going by books sold doesn’t always add up.
How does KENP reporting work?
The average per page royalty amount from the KDP select program over the past couple of years, has been around $0.004/page, but it changes monthly.
Which doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t. A 300-page book read all the way through will see the author gain a $1.20 royalty. Which back in the old days wasn’t so bad!
The average royalty per book nowadays is around the $2 mark. This means subscription models give the author less than an actual sale of a book.
Subscription models like KDP Select don’t break down pages read by reader. The reporting is fairly basic across the board.
Using the image above as an example from my own account, the pages read come to 960,920 across a 90-day period. It is the extent of the reporting given to you.
Sure, you can break it down by book or author if you have multiple pennames, but there is no breakdown per book.
Let’s face it, the reporting model required to show pages read by each reader would be astronomical. Not forgetting the possible privacy laws broken to gather such data.
That 960,920 KENP pages read, when using the standard $0.004, equates to $3,843.68. So, you can see with the right marketing campaign, that KDP Select can be profitable.
But how do you work out the exact number of books sold?
How to work out number of books sold by KENP pages read?
Let’s play with some simple figures. Let’s say you get 10,000 KENP pages reads over a one-month period, and your book is 300 pages long.
A simple way of doing it would be to divide 10,000 by 300 which would give you 33.3 books sold.
However, it doesn’t account for the fact that some readers would not have read the entire book. So, you might have 1,000 readers reading 10 pages each.
Though if readers are only reading 10 pages then maybe rethink your book strategy!
Simplest way is to divide the number of pages read by the number of pages in your book. This gives you an equivalent of books sold but doesn’t necessarily give you the number of readers who have started reading your book.
Those kinds of reports will never happen. And so, at the end of the day, you can only estimate how many books you’ve sold based on KENP pages read.
Here’s why you should separate books sold to pages read.
Online subscription reading models are relatively new in the world of publishing, with many authors deciding against it altogether.
Telling someone how many books you’ve sold won’t always give the whole picture. It is perhaps only a matter of time until bestseller lists begin including reading subscriptions models and the number of pages read.
You can sell 100 books a month in addition to 10,000 pages read. They’re completely separate.
More authors are enroling in KDP Select than ever before, with the hope of achieving more royalties by being in the program.
Gone are the days of simply totalling up the number of books sold.
On the question of how to work out books sold by KENP page reads, perhaps as authors we don’t need to. It’s simply another way of measuring a book’s success.